UVA’s Approach to Autism: Research, Education, and Community Partnerships

Date & Time

September 16, 2017 @ 10:00 - 11:00 am


Alumni Hall Ballroom
211 Emmet Street South
Charlottesville, VA



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Over the last decade, the Center for Disease Control has found that the number of children diagnosed with autism has grown over 50%, from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68. As the Commonwealth of Virginia’s flagship public university, the University of Virginia is uniquely poised to improve outcomes for Virginians affected by autism. To realize this aspiration, the Curry School of Education is spearheading an expansion of the University’s work in autism research, training and service, with the objective of eventually establishing a UVA Center for Autism. Catherine Bradshaw, Associate Dean for Research at the Curry School of Education, will lead a panel discussion of how the knowledge, techniques, and support at the University of Virginia can intersect with community organizations to support people with autism and their families.


Catherine Bradshaw (moderator)

Professor and the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, Curry School of Education

Catherine Bradshaw holds a doctorate in developmental psychology from Cornell University and a master’s of education in counseling and guidance from the University of Georgia.

Her primary research interests focus on the development of aggressive behavior and school-based prevention. She collaborates on research projects examining bullying and school climate; the development of aggressive and problem behaviors; effects of exposure to violence, peer victimization, and environmental stress on children; and the design, evaluation, and implementation of evidence-based prevention programs in schools. She presently collaborates on federally supported randomized trials of school-based prevention programs, including Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and social-emotional learning curricula. She also has expertise in implementation science and coaching models.

Dr. Bradshaw works with the Maryland State Department of Education and several school districts to support the development and implementation of programs and policies to prevent bullying and school violence, and to foster safe and supportive learning environments. She collaborates on federally-funded research grants supported by the NIMH, NIDA, CDC, and the Institute of Education Sciences. She is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Research on Adolescence and the editor of Prevention Science and a coeditor of the Handbook of School Mental Health (Springer, 2014).

David Cattell-Gordon

Director, Telemedicine

Mr. Cattell-Gordon has worked at UVA for over two decades. He helped design, develop and implement the cancer education, support and outreach programs for the University of Virginia Clinical Cancer Center. This included developing community-based programs such as the Every Women’s Life Health Passport which won the prestigious national Profiles in Progress Award. He left UVA in 2004 to serve as Associate Director of a large social service department where he led a successful effort to secure the 2007 Virginia US Senate Productivity and Quality Award. Cattell-Gordon returned to UVA in 2008 as a faculty member in the Division of Public Health Sciences and the School of Nursing. He directs the nationally recognized UVA Telemedicine program, oversees rural network development for the UVA Health System and is the co-founder of and senior advisor to the Healthy Appalachia Institute at UVA’s College at Wise, an Appalachian-based public health institute. He is currently working with key partners in far Southwest Virginia to help shape a strategic health planning process for the region. He is also helping develop tele-core, a resource capability using telehealth technologies to improve clinical outcomes and access to clinical trials. He is also a founder of the Virginia Institute of Autism, an applied behavioral school, support program and research organization.

Micah Mazurek

Associate Professor, Curry School of Education

Dr. Mazurek received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Yale University and her master’s and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  She completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Missouri.  Prior to her current position, she was an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri and at the Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders and served as Director of the Missouri Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) program.

Dr. Mazurek has over 17 years of clinical experience in psychological assessment and intervention, with specific expertise in evidence-based assessment and treatment of autism.  She has an active program of research focused on improving outcomes for individuals with autism and their families.  Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, Autism Speaks, and other agencies. This work has resulted in over 50 publications and numerous national and international presentations. Dr. Mazurek’s current research focuses on developing new tools, techniques, and technologies for improving diagnosis, treatment, and access to care for individuals with autism and their families.

William Therrien

Professor of Special Education, Curry School of Education

Since receiving his doctorate in Special Education from Pennsylvania State University in 2004, Bill has published more than 60 articles and book chapters and presented at multiple professional conferences and workshops. He is currently serving as the Editor of Exceptional Children, the publication and communications chair for CEC’s Division for Learning Disabilities, and on the editorial boards of The Elementary School Journal, Learning Disabilities Research, and Practice and Reading Psychology.